KCUR News
1:06 am
Fri July 16, 2010

Redistricting Planning Prompts Council Clash

Kansas City, MO – A necessary redistricting sparked a contentious hour-long argument in Kansas City's city council Thursday.

Population changes in the 12 years since Kansas City's council districts were redrawn require shrinking the growing northland districts and expanding the third district.

The insistence by some members that the Planning and Zoning Committee create the first proposal.rankled Sharon Sanders-Brooks. Brooks admonished her colleagues, "I must remind you: I don't think there are any African-Americans on that committee, and we're talking about redistricting."

In the ensuing argument, just about everyone was concerned about his or her territory losing its unified voice. And a disagreement arose over whether proposal maps should be drawn before or after public testimony.

Finally, Terry Riley called for a truce. "The maps have been drawn," he said, "we are meeting next week. Let's go ahead and take a look at what we have and move forward."

A committee of the whole council will hold the first redistricting hearing next Thursday at one pm. The council hopes to have a plan finished by Labor Day.